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The Report by Firdose Moonda
January 28, 2013
Pakistanis 329 (Sarfraz 93, Harmer 5-88) and 250 for 9 dec (Hafeez 83, Abbott 4-26) drew with South African Invitation XI 257 (van Jaarsveld 92, Ajmal 3-66) & 190 for 5 (Ontong 51*, Irfan 2-26)
The South African Invitation XI batsmen held out against the touring Pakistanis to deny them a first win on their visit. The Pakistanis only batted for 5.1 overs on the fourth morning before declaring to give their bowlers a final run before the start of the Test series on Friday.
Having resumed only five down, the Pakistanis lost three quick wickets on the final morning. Dolphins' quick Kyle Abbott trapped Sarfraz Ahmed lbw with the old ball and then bowled both Misbah-ul-Haq and Umar Gul with the new one. Beuran Hendricks got rid of Saeed Ajmal in between that and the Pakistanis declared on 250, with a lead of 322.
They made early inroads into the hosts' batting line-up with Junaid Khan and Umar Gul removing Andrew Puttick and Stiaan van Zyl. Davy Jacobs showed some resistance but became Mohammed Irfan's first victim after an hour and a quarter at the crease. Irfan was again used only infrequently, although he also picked up the wicket of Cody Chetty.
Saeed Ajmal got the most number of overs under his belt and finished the match with four wickets. With the Pakistanis deciding they could get no more out of the fixture, they agreed to shake hands on a draw with an hour left to play.
Of concern to the visitors will be the fitness of Taufeeq Umar, who had to sit out the fixture with a sore leg, and the brittle middle order. Between them Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah and Asad Shafiq scored only one half-century in the two innings. The Pakistan squad travel to Johannesburg on Tuesday to prepare for the first Test. South Africa also assemble in the city tomorrow.
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